Exercise after giving birth is part of a healthy lifestyle. Postpartum exercise has been shown to be beneficial at all stages of life.
There are many benefits to postpartum exercise:
- Tone and strengthen your abdominal muscles
- Boosts energy
- May help prevent postpartum depression
- Improves sleep quality
- Relieves stress
- Can help you shed extra weight you might have gained during pregnancy
It is difficult to make the necessary adjustments when you become a mother. The internet can also be confusing and overwhelming with information about postpartum exercise. Let’s talk about returning to exercise after childbirth.
When should I start exercising?
It is best to return to exercise gradually based on women’s physical abilities. It’s recommended that you return to pre-pregnancy exercises six weeks after delivery. This is based upon the ongoing physiological and morphological changes that pregnancy brings.
Most doctors allow patients to resume pre-pregnancy exercise eight weeks after a cesarean. The most important thing during this period is to allow the abdominal incisions to heal. The primary goal of exercise for the first six weeks should be to get personal time and regain control. With our program we will:
(1) Slowly start and gradually increase your pace;
(2) Avoid excessive fatigue and dehydration
(3) Supporting and compressing the breasts and abdomen;
(4) Stopping to assess if it hurts.
If it feels good it most likely is. This highlights the importance of listening and understanding your body. We can modify the exercise to alleviate pain and keep you on the right track if you feel soreness in your right muscles.
The goal for the rest of the postpartum period is to improve your physical fitness and status. It’s recommended that postpartum women obtain medical clearance before beginning an exercise program. They should also be careful to take it slow and progress slowly and it is important to maintain adequate fluid intake. Our team of specialists can help you in the process of returning to exercise postpartum.
Guidelines For Exercising Postpartum
Six weeks after delivery:
The goal of our program in the first six weeks after birth is to promote relaxation, and improve wellbeing. Our team will be with you every step of the way to ensure your exercise program is working for you. Some of the things that we will monitor during the first six weeks:
- How the exercise makes you feel
- Pain or bleeding
- Fluid intake
- Adequate Rest
Also, you should continue to monitor your own progress during and after your workout. You should ask yourself these questions: Are you tired after your workout? Are you feeling pain? Are you feeling stiffer?
Six weeks on:
The most important concerns during this period are monitoring performance and assessing whether there is over or under-training, they recommend self-monitoring every week. The key assessment points include discomfort, pain and performance.
We will help you identify goals and create a plan that fits your new life as a Mom. It may be necessary to set realistic goals and create exercise programs that cover all aspects of physical activity (cardiovascular strengthening, stretching, and well-being). To avoid injury and burnout, it is essential to have a balanced exercise program.
We provide a personal process to determine what sports or exercises you participate in. It is important to find an activity that you love and would like to return to. We can help track your performance to determine the right intensity.
To get back into an exercise routine, schedule a consultation with our qualified pelvic and physical therapists after delivery. Further evaluation should be done if you experience any pain, weakness or urinary incontinence. Call us today to schedule a consultation and we will help you achieve your postpartum exercise goals.
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